The truth is we have an enemy and he is the Father of LIES!
His only real power is to lie, to put thoughts in our minds that absolutely feel like our own.
You can unfortunately believe lies for decades and they can lead to destruction in your own life and in the lives of those around you.
It sounds crazy, but it is very very true.
I am not saying this to scare you, no no, the Lord is very very clear that there is NOTHING to fear, not even the devil (the enemy of our soul).
He is a defeated foe, the devil and he has no power or authority over those who are IN CHRIST.
And you don’t have to be all cleaned up and without sin to be IN CHRIST (that’s a lie)…. We need Christ because we are messed up and He is the one who comes to take on our sin, so we can be reconciled to God our Father.
You simply have to humble yourself and come to Christ to receive His gift of salvation. You have to realize that you need His divine help.
(Public Service Announcement: NO ONE IS PERFECT)
Except for Jesus! (because He was/is God in the flesh)
It can be tough to understand, it seems kind of weird and before I knew Christ as my Lord and Savior I remember thinking, “ok, why are people still talking about this jewish carpenter from 2,000 years ago. I believe that a few generations could convince a few more generations that this “Jesus fable” was true, but how on earth is it still being talked about today, if there is not something supernaturally real about it. It’s a good question to ponder, if you still don’t believe.
I mean even logically that doesn’t make sense.
But the truth of the Gospel, the GOOD NEWS is that everyone no matter their sin, can be saved and brought into a new life with Jesus and in Him we have authority over the enemy and his LIES that set out to destroy us.
A few weeks ago some lies of the past started to present themselves, seeing if I would maybe listen in again. It’s not always easy to recognize because they have a familiarity to them. I had believed lies about myself for over 20 years and they made me hate myself deeply. Come to find out, they were just simple lies that felt really really real.
Lies can be very powerful, that is why the Truth is so so important.
I didn’t realize the lies that were trying to slip back in recently, but suddenly found myself back in fear, back in not trusting God’s goodness, back in not trusting that God is for me.
Those thoughts, bolded above, are always a sign that the enemy might be trying to feed you a lie of CRAP, once again.
Maybe the lie is that your sin is fun (sometimes sin was fun), but it is, be assured, set out to destroy you.
Maybe the lie is that what YOU have done is too horrible to be redeemed, but that IS a lie.
It’s our responsibility to TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE as God says in His Word in 2 Corinthians 10:5 English Standard Version (ESV)
“5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”
So right now, I have this fruit fly infestation at my house. These little boogers are annoying but what I realized is that they are tiny compared to me, they don’t have a chance to win against me, I am like big human girl, so as they bug me I squish’em. And they don’t have a chance, but then another one comes flying around that I have to squish also, so I have to be ready.
When I got home last night I realized that these little fruit flies are like the enemy and his lies. He is annoying and if we let him, he will drive us a little mad (or he will drive us straight off the cliff if we accept them as truth), but we actually have the power and authority to squish his lies as they present themselves. ya know, like little fruit flies.
If you struggle in this area of believing LIES, check out this teaching by one of my favorite Bible teaches
Click Here Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
Ok, so we talked about conflict last week and how it is not something all of us like to engage in.
I wanted to bring in new friend and guest therapist for Putting the Pencil Down, Dr. David Adams for a little more insight into this ‘conflict thing’
Just so you know Dr. David isn’t just a therapist, he is a born again believer and follower of Jesus Christ, also has his MDIV (which means he went to school foreva to learn about the Bible) AND he has his doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
I mean how fun to have him with us today to discuss this thing called conflict!
My first question is: As humans why do we tend to struggle with conflict?
Dr. David: It is important to understand the source of conflict in understanding our struggle with it. James 4:1 states, “What causes quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your own desires?” It seems that when we have a conflict, at least one of the parties involved is likely focused on self. When this occurs, someone is likely to get hurt. When focused on self, we have a hard time focusing on the other person’s needs, values, expectations, and personal worth.
God created us for community, so when community and relationship is threatened (as we perceive it to be in conflict), we have an internal struggle.
Lindsay: Makes sense to me, that is why I don’t love conflict because I don’t want to get hurt and frankly I don’t want anyone else to hurt either. But God is also teaching me that I am not responsible for other people’s feelings (that is hard for me to learn)
Second, is there such a thing as “healthy conflict” and if so, what does it look like?
Dr. David: In responding to this question, I would like to say there are certain behaviors and communication patterns that are healthy in the midst of conflict. So, yes, one can be in conflict and respond with healthy behaviors.
Here are a few thoughts:
1. In conflict, it is important to focus on personal responsibility rather than focusing all your attention on the failures of others.
2. Seek to understand first, then seek to be understood. Too often, our focus is to be “heard” and we miss out on the perspective of the other person. If both parties involved in a conflict would seek to understand first, conflict will likely reduce.
3. The Scripture gives us some of the best advice for conflict. Be “Slow to Speak, Quick to Listen, and Slow to Anger- (James 1:19). When you practice these two behaviors (being slow to speak and quick to listen), it will lead to being slow to anger! (And thus slow to conflict).
4. It is possible to be angry and yet not to sin (Ephesians 4:26). Injustice can cause anger, but even “injustice”, you can respond in a way in which God is glorified.
5. Above all else, forgive! This is the basis for reconciliation. After all, we are forgiven. Colossians 3:13 states, “….bearing with one another, if anyone has a complaint against each other, forgiving each other…” Now, this can be hard, but remember forgiving will lead to more healthy relationships.
Lindsay: David, this is SO good, right before I thought I was going to engage in some conflict last week, I “so happened” to just flip open my Bible app and saw a scripture on humility, I think that was God reminding me that humility will help to ease any conflict.
Third, if we are one of those people who really doesn’t love conflict, what should we do to find a healthier perspective of it?
Dr. David: Conflict is not enjoyable. In fact, if one enjoys conflict, there may be another problem. Often time we try to avoid conflict as a way to protect ourselves from being hurt. Ahh…so if we do not have conflict, we are less likely to get hurt. However, avoiding conflict only leads to greater problems.Realize that being able to resolve conflict is the only path to true intimacy. So my first encouragement for you is to understand the path of conflict leads us to greater intimacy with God and each other. Remember God’s promises! He will strengthen you to handle any situation, even conflict!
Secondly, depend on God in all things, even conflict. This means bathe the situation in prayer. Often times, prayer will change our heart and attitudes in the process as well.
Lindsay: David, I am also SO (yes in all cap) glad that I am not weird for not liking conflict, whew. And I agree as I talked about in my last blog on conflict, what I learned most was that with God I was able to do something I didn’t enjoy and was amazed at how He worked through me in it.
Finally, in your words, how did Jesus handle conflict? What can we learn from Him?
David: Jesus lived in conflict. The religious leaders were constantly watching him, talking about him in negative ways, and attempting to conspire against Him. When Jesus was tempted by Satan, he quoted Scripture. When he was in the Garden of Gethsemane (knowing he was about to be crucified), he isolated himself in order to pray! These are the two best strategies: prayer and bathe yourself in His Word. Also, Jesus was not just a passive person. He did stand up for what is right. You may recall how Jesus flipped over the tables of the individuals who were buying and selling in the Temple for their own profit (Matthew 21). He directly confronted the situation. So, in conflict, one of the best things you can do is to assert yourself in love. However, other times, he taught just to “Turn your cheek” if your rights are violated (Luke 6:29). All in all, I think we can learn that we should be less concerned about our “own rights” which is the source of conflict. However, if the rights of others are violated or God’s truth needs to be made know, we should stand up and assert ourselves in love and respect.
Lindsay: Thank you so much Dr. David.
I hope this provided some needed insight to all of you out there, it sure did me. We will absolutely be having Dr. David back to talk about some other issues us ‘little BELOVED dust people’ tend to have and what Psychology and the Bible (more importantly Jesus) say that it.
I was the girl who would run the other way, fast, to avoid conflict at all costs.
I recently had two different people in my life say “now Lindsay without candy coating it how do you really feel” they both actually used the words ‘candy coat’
I guess my recovering people pleasing tendencies coupled with my hate of conflict were ah, obvious?
Well, I have been learning lately that “fear” could once again be the culprit.
What do you fear about conflict?
It was: “feeling stupid, because what if I was wrong”
But then God reminded me that humility comes before honor, so just putting it out there in the beginning of the conversation that “I could be wrong” was actually acting in humility. (good to know)
I also had “fear of not being smart enough.” I had this fear that “they” knew more than me, that “they” are smarter than me. I had to ask God, “why do I feel that way” and a moment way back in elementary school came rushing back, when a kid on the playground told me I was stupid.
I had to forgive and move on, knowing that now I have the mind of Christ.
So we are all actually back on a level playing field.
And then I had a fear I would be taken advantage of. I felt I had to protect myself because no one else (including God) was going to take care of me. The feeling was REAL, it’s was very very real, but it’s still a lie. It’s NOT TRUE.
God says: “do not fear, for I am with you!”
I mean, He is God. If you believe like I do that He REALLY created the universe and we are little (LOVED) dust people, He really does know best and He really does say do not fear. ANYTHING.
So for me I had to break down my fear of conflict, my hate towards it.
Hate is rooted in fear, fear of something, but we often have to ask ourselves (and God), what about this do I fear?
Then we can deal with and pray about the real problem, instead of trying to figure out this ambiguous “feeling” that sometimes attaches itself to our identity.
Hi my name is Lindsay and I am just one of those people who hate conflict.
See the Bible says
Proverbs 23:7New American Standard Bible (NASB)
For as he thinks within himself, so he is.
If we think we are this or that, well we are.
It’s a crazy thing, our minds, but they are powerful.
2 Corinthians 12:9-11 New International Version (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
One of my weaknesses is conflict, that’s ok to admit, but that is not my identity, it is just something I need to lean HARD into God to overcome, but since Christ died for us, we are now OVERCOMERS in Him. It’s not always easy, but it is alway possible with God.
Let’s be careful what we say to ourselves and about ourselves, even in our own minds (those thoughts that we agree with in our minds, do they line of with Christ? if not THROW THEM OUT THE DOOR)
I once had a therapist (actually I have had lots of therapists) hee hee, they are helpful most of the time, but we also have Holy Spirit the TRUE counselor to check everything against.
My therapist once said to me “Lindsay, would you ever call those little kids that you volunteer with stupid?”
I said, “no never”
She said “then why do you call yourself stupid, you are hurting your own feelings”
I was like, WHHHHHHHHAT, this lady has a point.
Let’s do as God says, take EVERY thought captive, to the obedience of Christ.
He says that because He loves us. Not because He is trying to ruin our fun! He knows everything. We just don’t.
He is God, and we, are little loved dust people!
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